The Apache HTTP Server, colloquially called Apache (/əˈpætʃiː/ ə-PA-chee), is the world's most widely used web server software. Originally based on the NCSA HTTPd server, development of Apache began in early 1995 after work on the NCSA code stalled. Apache played a key role in the initial growth of the World Wide Web, quickly overtaking NCSA HTTPd as the dominant HTTP server, and has remained most popular since April 1996. In 2009, it became the first web server software to serve more than 100 million websites.
Apache is developed and maintained by an open community of developers under the auspices of the Apache Software Foundation. Most commonly used on a Unix-like system (usually GNU/Linux), the software is available for a wide variety of operating systems, besides Unix and GNU+Linux, including eComStation, Microsoft Windows, NetWare, OpenVMS, OS/2, and TPF. Released under the Apache License, Apache is free and open-source software.
According to the FAQ in the Apache project website, the name Apache was chosen out of respect to the Native American tribe Apache and their superior skills in warfare and strategy. The name was widely believed to be a pun on 'A Patchy Server' (since it was a set of software patches). Official documentation used to give this explanation of the name, but in a 2000 interview, Brian Behlendorf, one of the creators of Apache, set the record straight:
When Apache is running, its process name is sometimes httpd, which is short for "HTTP daemon."
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